SWA Boeing 737-300, -500


Now that Southwest Airlines will be operating mostly the Boeing 737-700s, and some of the Boeing 737-800s, and the upcoming 737MAX, will there be a chance that Southwest will retire their Boeing 737-300s and -500s?


That would be the general assumption. The -700s coming in were to replace the 733s, with some of those -700s being converted to 738 orders, plus the ones coming in from TRS.

Now that they are the launch customer for MAX, it’s all but a guarantee that they’ll be phasing out the 733s and 735s.



They’ve been slowly but surely retiring the -300’s and-500’s already.


After the “Max” order announcement Southwest will receive 28 737-800s from Boeing and an additional 5 737-800s will be leased in 2012. Since Southwest has indicated that it is their intention to keep their ASMs nearly flat, that would call for up to about 30 planes to be retired in 2012. If Southwest changes their ASM expecations then their plane retirement plans will change.


No -500’s have been retired yet, they still operate the 25 that they ordered and received brand new 1990-1992.


Thanks for the correction.


To note also: some (if not all) of SWA’s Classic Aircraft (B733,B735) have been retro-fitted with the blended winglet extensions. So while it may look like a Next-Gen 737, it might be a 733/735.

PS: The new 738’s for SWA start in March 2012.


Well, some day the -300s and -500s will go. When that happens is unknown to us (the public). There is a lot of speculation about how and when. With the acquisition of TRS, there -700s will be easy to integrate. The general belief is that the 717s will be phased out as leases run out. WN could also be looking at the economics of the B717s versus the -500 in particular and maybe some -300s. Just have to wait and see.

The B737-500s have been mainly phased out in this country except for those operated by WN and a few left in UA (via CO). There seems to be an excellent market for used -500s, especially in the former Soviet Union and other European eastern countries.


EG&G would love to get their hands on a B735. They still haven’t phased out some of their B732s.



EG&G is operating 6 USAF Owned 737-600’s. It looks like their 737-200’s (actually, most were T-43’s) are all gone.


EG&G (Janet) has B737-600s from the USAF so I don’t think they would want B737-500s.


No winglets on the SWA 735, only retrofitted to the newer 733s.

Also read on another board that the 735 will begin retirements as the AirTran 737s come out of conversion, beginning this March at the rate of approx 2 per month.


Probably so. But maybe a couple weeks or months after they recieve all the new aircraft. :slight_smile:


They have already started retiring the 733’s. N300SW was first and is now a museum piece at Love Field.